Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Interview with Cindy Skaggs, author of Untouchable

Title: Untouchable
Author: Cindy Skaggs
Publisher: Entangled Ignite
Pages: 216
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Format: Kindle 

Action. Romance. Hot heroes. Don't miss Ignite's newest romance...

She'll do whatever it takes to find her son - Lie. Cheat. Steal. Seduce...

As the former wife of an infamous crime boss, Sofia Capri is untouchable. She exists outside of the law...and outside of the criminal world. When her son is kidnapped, Sofia's desperate to find him. She'll do anything. Lie. Cheat. Steal. Anything but trust. But it's a strikingly handsome FBI agent who's her only chance to get her baby back...

 Something about Sofia's fiery beauty must be hitting all of his weak spots, because suddenly Mr. Law And Order Logan Stone finds himself bending the rules. When they're implicated in the kidnapping, Logan and Sofia discover a horrifying reality - they have less than 72 hours to find the boy and clear their names. Now the heat is turning up...and time is running out...for everyone.

ORDER INFORMATION Untouchable is available for purchase at  

Q: Please tell us about Untouchable and what inspired you to write it.
A:  As the former wife of an infamous crime boss, Sofia Capri is untouchable. She exists outside of the law…and outside of the criminal world. When her son is kidnapped, Sofia's desperate to find him. Strikingly handsome FBI agent Logan Stone is her only chance to get her baby back. With less than 72 hours left to track him, Sofia and Logan must find the boy and clear their names.
I was inspired by the idea of how much mothers do for their children.  Every mother I know says the same thing:  I’d give my life for my child.  And we mean it.  We would do anything, but as Logan says of Sofia, he “had never met a parent who wanted so desperately to pursue and exact revenge, nor one who seemed quite so capable of doing just that.”  The truth is, most of us will never be asked to give our lives for our child, but it might just come down to it for Sofia.
She comes across as cold when you first meet her, but she’s had to become that way, be that person, in order to survive.  I wanted so badly for her to find love, because I’ve never created a character that needed it more, but she’s resistant, and it will take a strong hero to get under her skin.  I think she’s fascinating, at once incredibly vulnerable and yet frustratingly incapable of the most basic human interactions.  She is fierce and loyal and capable of anything to save her son.
Q: What themes do you explore in Untouchable?
A: Are any of us too far gone for love?  Sofia certainly doesn’t want it.  She fights against it, because she doesn’t think she deserves it (how many women can empathize).  At the age of 19, she met a handsome, charming man who, once she graduated, convinced her to marry him.  That act, by a woman so young, defines her life in all the wrong ways.  Is there redemption for her?  She thinks no.  At this point in her life, she believes that the best she can do is protect her son.  The only redemption she wants is the one where her son has a real life outside “the family.”  Logan makes her want more, but Sofia is a hard case.  She doesn’t believe in love or redemption or second chances.
Love doesn’t solve all Sofia’s problems, because I don’t think love does that.  Sofia has to solve her problems, but she doesn’t have to do it alone.  At the end of the day, that’s the life lesson that Sofia has to internalize in order to get her happy ending.  Will she trust?  Will she love?  Will she let someone in?
Q: Why do you write?
A: Because my brain gets overcrowded when I stop.  In any other profession, hearing voices is a bad thing, but for writers, it’s part of the package.  I’ve always been able to create complicated fictional worlds in the landscape of my mind.  I was a lucid dreamer as a child, and at different times in my adult life, and I think that goes along with writing.  There are many mornings when I wake up and just lay in bed, visualizing a scene between characters.  If I wasn’t able to sit up, grab a computer, and start typing, I’m not really sure what I’d do.  I don’t think I’d want to live with me if I weren’t able to write.
Q: How picky are you with language?
A: On a scale of 1-10, I’m a 7. Words matter, grammar matters, but I won’t walk away if you jack up the American language (but I probably wouldn’t date you, so I’m not as easy going as I want to pretend).  Mess up a comma and we’re good, but mess up there-their-they’re and we’ll have issues.  I always spoke to my children as adults, not babies, so they have exceptional grammar, and my son is a 10 of 10.  He occasionally corrects me while I’m speaking (he’s 13), which would make me crazy if I wasn’t so proud.  In the third grade, he corrected a pastor during class (thankfully with children) because the pastor misspelled a word.  I like to think I’m less of a grammar Nazi than that (and yet, I can’t fault him).
Q: When you write, do you sometimes feel as though you were being manipulated from afar?
A: Manipulated is a strong word.  Being manipulated implies a passive response to active (overbearing) stimulus, and I’m not okay with that (I suppose that makes me like Sofia, needing to control my “world”).  What I will say is that when the words are flowing and I’m having a Zen writing moment, words appear as if by magic.  My best writing day was a year ago this month.  I wrote a 100k word novel in 30 days, 10k words in one day, while my kids were out of town.  I may have failed at basic human hygiene, I didn’t cook or clean or shower, but the writing was fantastic.  I can’t claim credit for writing during that time.  I claim exceptional typing skills that allowed me to keep up with the muse.  I don’t consider that manipulation.  I consider it a miracle.
Q: What is your worst time as a writer?
A: Starting.  I resist like Sofia resists Logan.  It’s funny, because I consider writing my addiction of choice, but when I start a new book, I fight it.  I can’t tell you why.  The idea percolates, and if I get anything written down, it’s absolutely horrible.  That goes on for an extended time until the characters gel in my head to the point where they’re doing the talking.  That’s when I start writing.
Q: Your best?
A: That magic, indescribable moment when the characters start speaking for themselves.  The only reason that I plot to any degree is that I’ve internalized Christopher Vogler’s Writer’s Journey until I could follow it in my dreams (I bet I do and don’t even know it).  What I love is characterization.  My p.o.v. characters are real to me, and that helps me create believable people in conflict with the world.
Q: Is there anything that would stop you from writing?
A: If my children were hurt or in danger.  Actually, if anyone I loved was endangered.  One of my best friends just underwent brain surgery (brain surgery, when was that an option!).  I found it hard to concentrate on writing when I was worried for her.  It did, however, help me to prioritize.  I mean, no matter how many problems you have, or think you have, you don’t have someone cutting into your brain, so life is good.
Q: What’s the happiest moment you’ve lived as an author?
A: This book release.  I’ve gone most of my life with the voice of my 7th grade English teacher asking who I thought I was to think I could write.  This book release is a vindication.  My editor has been so supportive.  She understood Logan and Sofia, which is a blessing.  Entangled has been a dream publisher.  When they sent me a copy of my cover, I caused a public scene in Panera because I was so thrilled (and I don’t do public scenes).  It’s gorgeous (there’s something about a man in a suit...), but what I loved most was that they listened to my suggestions for my cover.  They have been supportive and attentive and the best possible first publisher I could hope for.  The fact that people are interviewing me is surreal.  I haven’t talked about myself this much in my entire life.
Q: Is writing an obsession to you?
A: Absolutely.  I get cranky (what a nice word) when I don’t write.  The truth is, I become a raving witch and my children run as fast and as far as they can.  My son calls it “caving” when I need to write.  “Are we caving tonight?” he’ll ask, and it gives me permission to hide in my cave to write.  Writing helps me get through all the crap in my head so I don’t take it out on those closest to me.  I could give up wine and coffee and even the gym (well, actually, that wouldn’t take much incentive), but I could never give up writing.  I honestly believe I’d go crazy without the ability to create fictional worlds and fictional characters.
Q: Are the stories you create connected with you in some way?
A: Always.  There is a piece of me in every story I write.  I don’t think a story would hold my interest without that link.  I believe we write to discover what we think and who we are.  If I take away that connection, it’s like manufacturing widgets in a factory somewhere.  It pays, but it’s not satisfying.
Q: Ray Bradbury once said, “You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you.” Do you agree?
A: Truth.  I cannot speak for other writers, but for me, reality isn’t such a great concept.  I think that’s true for all creatives.  It’s why we create.  If I became too much of a realist, my ability to write would disintegrate.  I can handle a cruel and unjust fictional world, but a cruel real world will send me to the nearest tub of Ben & Jerry’s.
Q: Where is your book available?
Q: Do you have a website or blog where readers can find out more about you and your work?
My blog is a little like my happy place.  I love to see people there, digging through my brain for the newest relevant (or irrelevant) post.  And I love to engage in conversations (so please post and comment).  Before I list it, however, I’d like to thank you for having me here.  It’s like giving the finger to my 7th grade teacher and her “who do you thin you are?”  Sure, it’s juvenile, but it makes me feel better.  http://www.cskaggs.com/see-cindy-write

When they told her a woman could do anything, Cindy thought they meant everything, and decided to give it a go.  Cindy holds an MA in Creative Writing from Regis University, is an MFA student at Pacific Lutheran University, works three jobs, is a single mom to two of the most active kids on the planet, pet owner, and child chauffeur extraordinaire. She took her first job at age thirteen as a motel maid.  Since then, she has worked in myriad offices, at Spencer's Gifts, in a summer stock theater, a college library & art gallery, and more odd jobs than she’ll admit.  That was all before running away to join the Air Force where she saw nearly every state in the union and more countries than she can remember. Following the Air Force, she worked as a travel agent, a retail store manager, and operated two small businesses before the a-ha moment hit.  Books!  Writing!  She now works in a library and teaches writing to college students while working on her novels. When she’s not writing, she’s trying to prevent the neurotic dog from either chewing the furniture or eating whole sticks of butter (often still in the paper).  She’s beginning to think maybe she can’t do it all.  At least not all at once.

  Untouchable, Cindy’s first romantic suspense, releases 7/21/2015 from Entangled Publishing.

  For More Information Visit Cindy at her website  


Cindy is giving away a $25 Gift Card!

Terms & Conditions:
  • By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.
  • One winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter to receive one $25 Gift Certificate to Amazon
  • This giveaway begins July 21 and ends on August 19.
  • Winners will be contacted via email on August 20.
  • Winner has 48 hours to reply.
Good luck everyone!


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